WordPress is a free standalone software that needs to be installed and hosted on a server. It is impossible to install WordPress without hosting. However, it is possible to install and use WordPress without a paid hosting plan or domain name.
So how can this be done? WordPress can be installed for free on a local server by using a local web stack such as WampServer or a virtual sandbox environment such as Bitnami.
Now, while installing WordPress locally is useful if you’d like to get familiar with the platform, practice WordPress development, or stage a client’s website before purchasing a hosting plan or domain name, there is an obvious downside that you should know about.
WordPress websites created on a local server environment won’t be accessible to the public. This means that your website would only be available to you, on the computer where the local server is being hosted. However, this isn’t a serious downside because you can always migrate your website from your local hosting environment to a live server whenever you are ready to do so.
Install WordPress Using WampServer
Step 1 – Download and Install WampServer
1. Head on over to the WampServer website, from there click on the “start using Wampserver” button.
2. On the next page select either the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version depending on your operating system.
3. Next a popup with a form would appear, ignore the form and click on “you can download it directly”.
4. Clicking on that link will bring you to a download page. From here click on the green “download latest version” button.
5. When the installation file is finished downloading locate and run it.
6. Start by selecting your preferred language and then click on “ok”.
7. Next, accept the terms and agreements of WampServer and click on “next”.
8. On the general information screen click on “next”.
9. Leave the destination location as the folder assigned by the installer.
10. At the select components section select default installation from the drop-down and click on “next”.
11. Follow through with the remainder of the installer until the ready to install section, then click on the “install” button. During the installation, you’ll be asked to set a default web browser and text editor.
12. When the installation is complete click on “finish”.
Step 2 – Create a Database On WampServer
1. Open the WampServer software to start your local server.
2. Now that your local server is online go to your preferred web browser and type in localhost in the address bar.
3. From the WampServer dashboard, under the tools heading click on PHPMyAdmin.
4. This will bring you to the PHPMyAdmin login screen. From here use the username root, leave the password field blank, and MySQL as the server choice, then click on “go”.
5. Once at the PHPMyAdmin dashboard click on the database tab.
6. Under the create database title give your database a name like MyLocalWebsite and then click on the “create” button.
Step 3 – Download and Install WordPress On WampServer
1. Follow this link to the WordPress homepage.
2. From the WordPress, homepage click on the blue “Get WordPress” button.
3. On the next page click on the “download and install” link and then click on the blue “download WordPress” button.
4. When the download is complete locate the WordPress.zip folder and extract its content to a new folder.
5. Open the newly extracted folder and rename the “wordpress” folder within it to the name of your website, for example, mylocalwebsite.
6. Navigate to your primary windows drive > wamp64 > www and move the folder you just renamed to this location.
7. Now that your website’s folder is placed within the www folder follow along with the configuring WordPress section of this article to finish the installation
Install WordPress Using XAMPP
Step 1 – Download and Install XAMPP
1. Follow this link to the XAMPP homepage.
2. From here click on the version that you would like to download. Windows, Mac, or Linux.
3. When the download is completed, locate the file and launch it.
4. At the select components page, select Apache, MySQL, PHP, and PHPMyAdmin then click next.
5. Leave the default installation folder as the one set by the installer.
6. Set your preferred default language.
7. Follow along with the rest of the installer to where the installation starts.
8. When the setup is complete click on finish and open XAMPP.
9. At the XAMPP control panel start MySQL and apache.
Step 2 – Install WordPress on XAMPP
1. From the XAMPP control panel, click on the admin button in the MySQL row to go to your PHPMyAdmin dashboard.
2. Next you will have to create a database for your website. To do this click on the “add new” button from the list of databases on the left.
3. On the next page give your database a name and click on the “create” button.
4. Now that your database is created head on over to WordPress.org and download the latest version.
5. When the download is completed unzip the WordPress.zip folder to a new folder.
6. In the new folder locate the WordPress folder and rename it to the name of your website.
7. Navigate to the folder htdocs which is located in This pc > Windows (C:)> XAMPP > HTDOCS and copy the folder that you renamed to the name of our website here.
8. In your preferred web browser type in localhost/thenameofyourlocalsite in the address bar to launch the wordpress installer.
9. Navigate to the Configure WordPress section in this article to finish installing WordPress.
Step 3 – Configure WordPress (WampServer or XAMPP)
Whichever method you select you would need to configure your new WordPress installation the first time you try to access your website. This is how you’ll go about doing that.
1. In your preferred web browser type in localhost/yourwebsitename/ in the address bar. This will redirect you to the wordpress configuration page.
2. From here select your language
3. On the next page click on “let’s go” and proceed to the database information section. Next enter your Database Name, Username, and Password. Leave the database host and prefix fields as is and click on “submit”.
4. Next set your site title, username, password, email address, and then click on the “install WordPress” button.
5. Finally click on the “login” button then enter your WordPress account information to access your WordPress dashboard.
Install WordPress Using XAMPP and Bitnami
1. In your preferred web browser type in localhost. This will lead you to the XAMPP dashboard, from here click on the “applications” button.
2. From the applications page click on the link that reads “Bitnami XAMPP page”.
3. On that page scroll down and download the WordPress module for your operating system. (either sign up for an account with Bitnami or click on the direct download link).
4. When the download is completed run the installer and follow through with the installation.
5. Leave the installation folder as the default folder set by the installer.
6. Next create your admin account. Set a username, a name, a password, and an email address.
7. Give your website a name.
8. (Optional) Configure SMTP settings by checking the mail support check box and select your default email provider.
9. Deselect the “launch WordPress in the cloud with Bitnami” option and click next.
10. When the installation is finished click on “finish” and launch the Bitnami WordPress module
11. Next, you will then be taken to a URL that looks similar to this http://127.0.0.1/wordpress/. To access your WordPress dashboard add wp-admin after the forward-slash after the word “wordpress”. And log in with the credentials we created in step 6.
Install WordPress Using Local By FlyWheel
1. Head on over to the Local By FlyWheel website and click on the download button in the header.
2. Select your platform, fill in the form and click on get it now.
3. When the download is complete launch the installer.
4. Follow through with the installer until it is finished, then click on finished and run locally.
5. Within the local by flywheel program click on the “white create a new site” button.
6. Give your site a name and click continue.
7. On the next page select preferred and click continue.
8. Set a username, password, and email, and then click on “add site”.
9. When your site is created click on “open site” to view your site or click on “admin” to access your WordPress dashboard.
Install WordPress Using Bitnami
1. Head on over to the Bitnami website. Under the “on my computer” section click on Win /Mac / Linux.
2. Next scroll down and download the version that is compatible with your operating system.
3. In the popup either create an account or click on no get to download.
4. When the download is complete run the installer.
5. Follow through with the installer and create an admin account.
6. Give your site name.
7. Skip the mail service or opt in to it by checking the checkbox.
8. Deselect the cloud option and click continue.
9. Wait for the installation to be completed then click on finished.
10. Bitnami will launch your newly created website in your default browser. The link of your website will look similar to this http://127.0.0.1/wordpress. On this page click on “access WordPress” to access your site.
11. To access your WordPress dashboard add /wp-admin to the end of the URL and log in with the credentials we created in step 5. For example http://127.0.0.1/wordpress/wp-admin.